So, I spent a happy afternoon on Sunday after all the duty stuff had been done working on my death quilt. I had been doing quite a bit of work on it, and it was looking okay, but the very central part, the plaque with the grieving woman was jumping out:
I was thinking about doing some light stamping over the top like that on the painted chipboard panel it’s on to knock it back a bit, but it suddenly came to me that the answer was that old collage standby: the black tulle. I had used this a fair bit in the collage classes that I went to with My Grate Frend Mike, who is a bit of a genius with it:
Here’s my use of black tulle for shading:
The lovely Mike went out and bought a metre of tulle – not net – it’s much finer than net – in every colour he could find and split them with me, so I have plenty to choose from. The minute I put it over the panel the whole thing looked better. The central panel suddenly belonged to the quilt rather than sticking out from it:
And once the tulle was on I could start to build up a frame around the central image with a variety of beads. The big shiny ones at the bottom are from Anita’s beads (www.anitasbeads.net/), and the amethyst chips at the top are because they were my father’s birthstone – as they are mine. I might put a few more on, but they were starting to cover the embroidery up entirely. I like the odd shell grotto kind of feeling it is developing.
Another reason I love the tulle is its connections with mourning and its role in the imagery of death. I like the idea of the other side of veil as a metaphor for death. And I have made things before where I have veiled the central image because it seems too powerful on its own. The veiling feels ‘right’ thematically on this piece.
The quilt is coming along well now, and I am surprised just how much you can get done when you really devote a chunk of time to it.